Your body produces CSF continuously to protect your brain. As you produce more, your ICP goes up. As your brain excretes/eliminates it, your ICPs lower. Your body naturally controls your ICP by eliminating CSF from your brain into your spinal column where the CSF is drained and absorbed as waste. This is by far a very brief explanation.
The condition in which your ventricles don’t drain (communicate) and naturally regulate your ICP is called Hydrocephulus. This is the condition I was diagnoses with and now have.
In my case, there were two ways to treat – there is no cure – the hydrocephalus.
- A shunt – mechanical device/valve that has a tube that runs from inside your skull to one of your ventricles, back to the device and from the device to your abdomen where your CSF drains and is absorbed as your body regulates your ICP.
- Endoscopic Third Venticulostomy – a fairly new treatment in which the Neuro Surgeon punches a hole in the third ventricle in your brain as a secondary pathway to release CSF around your brain where the fluid is absorbed to regulate your ICP.
On February 14, I had a Endoscopic Third Venticulostomy to help regulate my ICP and treat the hydrocephalus. Also during the surgery, my Neuro Surgeon catheterized the normal passage way where the brain drains CSF. For the procedure, they do everything optically and literally drill a hole in my head, and insert scopes and tools and work through high powered optics to complete the surgery.
Aside from the normal risks of brain surgery, the major risk of the 3rd vent, is that there is a major artery on the inside of the ventricle, and if the surgeon nics or ruptures it, there is no way to stop the bleeding and you die.
This is why you want to have a surgeon like Dr. Loudon who help pioneer the procedure and has done many. This was not the time to have a rookie surgeon. The surgery went good, and I stayed a few days to continue to recover from my initial surgery and make sure there were no complications from this one either.
I was released from the hospital on February 18 with a PIC line so we could continue IV antibiotics for a couple more weeks at home to make sure the infection was 100% clear.